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Hitwise: Rental sites gaining ground

Real estate professionals can learn from popular search terms

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Popular search terms indicate that consumer interest in rentals is growing, according to a webinar presentation by Web metrics firm Experian Hitwise. The firm's data indicates that despite recent upticks in home sales, real estate-related searches fell 22 percent year-over-year in April -- the 11th straight month of year-over-year declines, the firm said. For the past 10 months, however, searches related to rentals have been increasing. In a custom real estate website category for rentals (excluding vacation rentals), searches climbed 45 percent year-over-year in April, the firm said. Heather Dougherty, the company's director of research, gave the presentation. "The rental market for houses and apartments is benefiting as a result of tightened credit markets and increased foreclosures as a housing option," Dougherty said in a blog post. Search terms also indicate rentals are gaining in popularity among those interested in real estate. When branded search words (ie. "...